The Maricopa County Attorney's Office (MCAO) was awarded a grant in the amount of $1,232,705 in FY2016, which has been used to test sexual assault kits (SAKs), as well as investigate and prosecute cases involving SAKs. With the SAKI grant, MCAO hired a full-time cold case sex crimes investigator; the funding is also used to pay part of a cold case sex crimes prosecutor's salary to work on SAKI cases.
MCAO received additional SAKI funding in FY2017 for more than $1,199,503. This money is being used to continue testing SAKs. The funding also supported the hiring of four new staff members in various roles as part of the SAKI programincluding a detective, crime analyst, and victim advocate; multiple paralegal and legal support positions have also been added.
In FY2018, MCAO received an additional $1.5 million from SAKI to expand their foundation and build upon the existing infrastructure; with these efforts in mind, MCAO hired an additional investigator, prosecutor, victim advocate, paralegal, and crime analyst. MCAO continues to outsource SAKs for advanced DNA testing and develops ongoing trainings for use across the county and state.
For more information on the specific SAKI awards for this site, see the table below.
|FY2016||$1,232,705||Comprehensive Approach to Unsubmitted Sexual Assault Kits|
|FY2017||$1,199,503||Comprehensive Approach to Unsubmitted Sexual Assault Kits|
|FY2018||$1,500,000||Comprehensive Approach to Unsubmitted Sexual Assault Kits|
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Committed to clearing untested rape kit backlog
Office of the Governor Doug Ducey, Oct 17, 2016
Governor Doug Ducey established a task force in January 2016, known as Executive Order 2016-02, dedicated to inventorying Arizona’s untested rape kits, making recommendations about testing the kits, and creating policies to ensure the kits are tracked more efficiently in the future. He recently received a report from the task force outlining a plan to address the injustice of the untested rape kits, and suggested that all local jurisdictions adopt a test-all approach as well as contract with a vendor to establish a state-wide evidence tracking system.
Maricopa County Attorney’s Office and Phoenix Police Department awarded more than $2 million in grants to test rape kits
Amanda Jacinto, Maricopa County Attorney’s Office, Oct 3, 2016
The Phoenix Police Department and Maricopa County have each received funding from the U.S. Department of Justice to analyze and test previously unsubmitted sexual assault kits. Both entities will also use the funding to train staff, investigate cold cases, and process evidence surrounding sexual assault. To learn more about Arizona’s efforts to combat sexual assault, read the full article.
Funded by the Bureau of Justice Assistance, the Sexual Assault Kit Initiative aims to create a coordinated community response that ensures just resolution to sexual assault cases. Through this program, funding is provided to support multidisciplinary community response teams engaged in the comprehensive reform of jurisdictions approaches to sexual assault cases resulting from evidence found in previously unsubmitted sexual assault kits.